Source - Alliance News

Begbies Traynor Group PLC on Monday said profit fell in the first half of its financial 2024, as rising costs offset rising revenue, although the Manchester-based insolvency advisory firm still raised its interim dividend and expressed confidence in its full-year outlook.

Pretax profit fell 40% to £3.0 million in the six months that ended October 31 from £5.0 million a year earlier.

Revenue was up 13% to £65.9 million from £58.5 million, although this did not fully offset rising costs. Direct costs rose 17% to £38.1 million from £32.7 million, while administrative expenses rose 19% to £24.3 million from £20.4 million. Transaction costs multiplied to £3.8 million from £828,000.

Despite falling profit, Begbies Traynor still opted to raise its interim dividend payment by 8.3% to 1.3 pence from 1.2p a year earlier.

‘We have continued to execute our strategy to grow the business,’ said Executive Chair Ric Traynor.

‘Our insolvency team has maintained its market-leading position (by volume) in a growing marketplace nationally, with an increase in insolvency numbers reflecting the current interest rate and inflation environment; whilst our advisory and transactional services teams had a successful six months, reflecting the breadth of advice we provide to our clients, which continue to provide a solid platform for growth.’

Looking ahead, Traynor said: ‘The group’s financial performance in the first six months leaves the board confident of delivering current market expectations for the full year, which will extend our strong financial track record of growth.

‘Our broad range of services, diversified client base, organic growth initiatives and pipeline of acquisition opportunities, combined with increasing counter-cyclical activity, leaves us confident of continuing to build upon our strong track record in the current year and beyond.’

Begbies Traynor expects continued increase in insolvency activity, while financial advisory is anticipated to deliver a ‘broadly consistent’ second half.

It also said property advisory and transactional services expected to deliver ‘another year of strong growth’.

Net cash at October 31 stood at £1.1 million, swinging from net debt of £2.4 million a year earlier.

Shares in Begbies Traynor were up 2.0% to 115.50 pence each in London on Monday morning.

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